Diwali Celebration: Pakistan Muslim League Style

Posted on October 31, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Minorities, Politics, Religion
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Adil Najam

Ordinarily, I might have just posted this photograph below as a comment on yesterday’s post on Diwali celebrations in Karachi (also here). But please, just look at the people in this photograph; its way too interesting to be relegated to a comments section.

The occasion is a Diwali celebration at the Islamabad Headquarters of the Pakistan Muslim League, standing (and clapping) extreme left is Syed Mushahid Hussain, Secretary General of the Pakistan Muslim League, next to him is Ijaz ul Haq (Minister of Religious Affairs, and son of Gen. Zia ul Haq), fourth from left is Tariq Azim, State Minister for Information.

The Daily Times (31 October, 2006) provides more details of the event:

Members of the Hindu community from across the country participated in the event where they performed their religious rituals and traditional dances in candlelight to mark the event… A number of office bearers of the party and ministers, including PML Secretary General Mushahid Hussain Syed, Minister for Religious Affairs Ijaz-ul-Haq, State Minister for Information Tariq Azim, Minister for Minorities Affairs Mushtaq Victor and members of the National Assembly (MNAs) Bindara, Donia Aziz, Akram Masih Gill and others were present on the occasion. Officials of the Indian High Commission also participated in the event.

Hussain said that Quaid-e-Azam had envisioned a Pakistan where all the religious minorities enjoyed equal rights. He underlined the importance of inter-faith harmony for the greater prosperity of the nation and announced that the PML would also celebrate the birthday of Baba Gurunanak next week. He said that the minorities played a vital role in building any nation. He said that the present government was allocating high importance to giving all minorities’ equal. Hindus are playing a leading role in country’s economic development and the present government will leave no stone unturned to ensure their safety and well being, he added.

This is, of course, a political gesture – some might even say a gimmick. But if so, let us have more such gestures and gimmicks. They will, in time, hopefully help change our perceptions and treatment of religious minorities in Pakistan.

76 responses to “Diwali Celebration: Pakistan Muslim League Style”

  1. Greywolf says:


    To each his own. Cease and desist from telling me what you think the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet is. Atleast don’t unload your own hang ups on that great man.

  2. Ibrahim says:


    Yahya, may be I’m not smart enough. Please explain how I “accuse anyone *before* you get a proof”. Saif decided to announce to the world that “no responsible historian…has mentioned it”, and I decided to put the record straight. How’s this accusing anyone?

    I’m not a least bit surprised by comments like Sirat-ul-Mustaqeem’s. When people have nothing more to say, they end up saying childish immature things like: “why are you so fascinated by naked people; men and women”! By Allah, the only reason I wrote a detailed response to this issue was the way Saif proclaimed that no responsible historian has mentioned it[naked men/women doing tawaf]. This is playing with historical facts, and I thought I will make it clear.

  3. Akif Nizam says:

    Ibrahim, I was responding to Adnan’s statement who opined that Islam came to kill all other customs. If a muslim believes that to be true, then is essence he/she believes in suppressing non-muslim customs.

    From your comments, it seems that you are a religious person and well-versed with historical anecdotes. Given that I’m not, there is no way for me to converse on your level. My opinion, however, is that if we keep insisting on maintaining the same laws that applied to tribal societies of thousands of years ago, then we’ll continue to be a tribal society stuck in the seventh century. Democracy and a parliamentary system exists to keep up with the current demands of changing environments. If we believe in static laws that are good forever, then we don’t need democratic institutions or debate. Islam is what Islam is and all we need to do is to ask the maulvi what to do.

  4. [quote post=”393″], you DO NOT accuse anyone *before* you get a proof. This makes one a liar, a fasiq and a hypocrite. This phenomenon is fairly common among the religious fanatics however so no surprise there.[/quote]

    you proved yourself a person which was explained in your own words “fasiq and hypocrite” by accusing Ibrahim. Preach which you can act yourself first.

  5. Formerly Yahya says:

    [quote comment=”18141″]Salamalikum,

    Saif, I like your post. From the sound of it, if I can prove it inshaAllah, then you’ll agree that people used to come to Kaa’ba for tawaf naked. Right? [/quote]

    Ibrahim talking of strict Islam over which you seem to have a monopoly, you DO NOT accuse anyone *before* you get a proof. This makes one a liar, a fasiq and a hypocrite. This phenomenon is fairly common among the religious fanatics however so no surprise there.

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